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In Memoriam: Gene Romero 1947-2019

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“I Dig Carnations!”

The motorcycle industry couldn’t be sadder. Another Champion is gone. Gene Romero, husband, father, best friend, legend and Champion.

Born, Gene Ronald Romero, May 22, 1947 in Martinez California, Gene called San Louis Obispo home. He cut lawns and cleaned pools to get his first motorcycle. His father, Gene senior, was a tough and proud man who imparted the traits of hard work and honest living to Gene and his two younger brothers, Carlos and Terry. Their mother, Emma was a saint. She had the intolerable job of raising these three, rough and tumble boys, while keeping up with the demands from the patriarch of this respectable Romero family. Her German lineage added a meticulous, sensible and loving aspect to their upbringing. But just don’t get between any of the Romero brothers (or senior) because chances are you may find yourself on the loosing end of the stick.

Always the cool one, Gene had those Elvis Presley good looks. He had class, talent, determination and the best sponsors you could find. He was one of America’s greatest motorcycle racers. He changed the course of professional motorcycle racing when he brought non-motorcycle-oriented sponsors into the sport from outside the industry. When local sponsors like, Bill’s muffler shop or Joe’s Garage seemed to be the only available course, Gene pursued and landed national sponsors like Busch Beer, Ocean Pacific, Evel Knievel and factory Yamaha.

Romero honed his racing skills on dirt and scrambles tracks in the Central Valley of California. As an amateur, Romero used his scramble skills to become a top TT Steeplechase Rider. Not surprisingly Romero’s first pro finish came at the age of 19 at the Castle Rock TT in July 1966. He adopted the nickname “Burritto” with two Ts instead of the conventional spelling with one T. His first national win was two years later in Lincoln, Nebraska riding a Triumph.

Romero had won 12 AMA Nationals during his 16-year racing career and received AMA’s most popular “Racer Of The Year” Award.

His greatest moments may have come in 1970 when he became National Champion, of the AMA Grand National Championship Series and in 1975 when on a completely different style of motorcycle, he became the winner of American Road Racing’s most coveted prize, the king of them all, the Daytona 200. That would be the equivalent of winning the IndyCar Championship and the Indianapolis 500…. an analogy unintended as patronizing… in fact it is flattery. More than once you’d hear his Indy 500 racing car cronies say, “Gene, you motorcycle racers are crazy!”

Chris Agajanian recalls Gene always having a unique way of expressing himself and not soliciting sympathy from others, like when he had a six-month stint in a full body cast.

“He was a huge personality. An old school spirit and akin to his pal “The Intimidator”, the other #3. Don’t cross him or you’d wish you hadn’t. He did it his way ‘til the very end. He had those Elvis Presley good looks and some of the best witticisms around.

Lying there in a full body cast and asked how he was doing, he quipped, “It’s no problem, I’ve had worse things in my eye.”

Still, his best quote was memorialized in the greatest motorcycle movie of all time, the Academy Award nominated documentary “On Any Sunday”. At the time, Gene needed a third place or better finish at the Sacramento Mile in order to be crowned the 1970 AMA Grand National Champion. He remarked when interviewed; “I don’t want to hurt anybody – but I’ve got to get third no matter what… I’m going to get third or come see me in the hospital – I dig carnations.”

The Agajanian Family is shaken and saddened at the loss of our dear friend “Burritto”. You are forever in our hearts. Elvis has left the building and Gene has left the racetrack – with the checkered flag.…..Chris Agajanian

Just seven years after his amateur race at Ascot Park in Southern California he became the youngest AMA Grand National Championship titleholder in the sport’s history at age 22. Gene was so dominant that year that he sealed the championship by winning the Sacramento Mile with two races remaining on the schedule.

After 16 years of racing, Romero retired. Following his retirement, American Honda Motor Co decided to take on Harley Davidson at their own game. Harley had that scene pretty well sewed up with its aluminum XR-750, a bike that every year became more and more intimately adapted to dirt. Honda’s philosophy was; it takes people who understand racing, backed by R&D. For Honda, one such person was Gene Romero. He was hired to manage Honda’s dirt track program. From 1984 to 1987, Honda took home the No. 1 plate and became the series king, winning four championships in a row.

Gene raced cars briefly before becoming a promoter and creating the west coast flat track series, which over the years, has given novice and semi pro riders a place to race at more than 30 venues stretching from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest. He was inducted into the Trailblazers Hall of Fame and soon after, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998. He died just 10 days short of his 72nd birthday and leaves behind his loving wife Cheri and 23-year-old son, Geno.

The family is besieged with prayers and good wishes. Cheri and Geno would like to thank you all for your wonderful thoughts and care. Please understand the sorrow and the despondency, a loss such as theirs, can have on all of the Romero Family. He was a real champion on and off the dirt. Please respect their privacy and peace.

In lieu of a memorial service, many racetracks across the nation will be having a “Moment of Silence” in our hero’s name. There will be a celebration of life TBA. To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Gene’s Championship run, a special event is being planned for the 2020 Sacramento Mile. “The Gene Romero Memorial Sacramento Mile” will feature a limited edition T-Shirt complete with the ROMERO name on the back over his stylized number 3. Also planned will be an Inaugural “Gene Romero Vintage Motorcycle Show” featuring the industry’s finest racing bikes, an official commemorative, pictorial program containing all of the champions that raced in the 1970 Sacramento Mile, the race that was featured in the movie “On Any Sunday”, a display of Gene’s personal, race-worn leathers, helmet and his beautiful Triumph motorcycle, an electronic green-screen photo booth where you and your family can have a picture taken with “Burritto”, a commemorative VIP photo-ticket that will be sold in advance, an autograph signing session for past and present riders on hand, a discounted VIP travel package and much more. Please stay tuned for updates. Chris Agajanian has just accepted the honor as Grand Marshal for the 2020 Sacramento Mile and would love to see you all join us for the Gene Romero Classic Motorcycle Spectacular. R.I.P. Gene Romero #3 “Burritto”

Zero Motorcycles announces new financing round

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Following the recent launch of its industry-shaking SR/F model, Zero Motorcycles today announced the close of a $25 million funding round, bringing the brand’s aggregate equity capital raised to over $250 million. With 13 years of experience developing the most power- and energy-dense EV technology in powersports, Zero leads the industry with a global supply chain and distribution network, and a broad portfolio of effortlessly powerful, safe and reliable electric mototcycles.

ZERO MOTORCYCLES ANNOUNCES NEW FINANCING ROUND BRINGING AGGREGATE INVESTMENT TO OVER $250 MILLION

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., (April 23, 2019) On the heels of the successful launch of its transformational SR/F model, Zero Motorcycles, the global electric motorcycle sales and innovation leader, announced today the close of a $25 million funding round, bringing its aggregate equity capital raised to over $250 million.

With 13 years of experience, Zero Motorcycles has developed the most power- and energy-dense EV technology in powersports and has built Zero into the leading brand with a global supply chain and distribution network, and a broad portfolio of products, which are effortlessly powerful, safe, reliable, and delight our riders every time they twist the throttle.

“At Zero Motorcycles, we’ve been defining the electric motorcycle category since our inception in 2006,” said Sam Paschel, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. “To build a company like Zero is not easy. You need to build a leading EV technology business, an industrial business, and consumer-branded business all at once. In addition to break-through innovation and R&D investment, this takes time, hard work, and significant capital. Zero has been capital efficient over the years, and our committed and consistent backing has enabled us to fully fund our strategy and to succeed when others have failed. We sell more electric motorcycles annually than all of our competitors combined and with our strong capital base, know-how, brand, and team, we will continue to be the driving force behind two-wheeled and broader powersports electrification. We look forward to the next few years as both adoption and innovation continue to accelerate.”

For more information on Zero Motorcycles please visit www.zeromotorcycles.com.

About Zero Motorcycles
Zero Motorcycles is the global leader in electric motorcycles and powertrains. Designed and crafted by hand in California, Zero Motorcycles combines Silicon Valley technology with traditional motorcycle soul to elevate the motorcycling experience for smart, innovative riders around the world.

Indian Motorcycle Racing’s FTR750 Secures Second Consecutive Podium Sweep

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Defending Champion Jared Mees Secures First Victory of the Season; Fellow Wrecking Crew Rider Briar Bauman & Indian Motorcycle Privateer Brandon Robinson Finish Second and Third at Texas Half-Mile

FORT WORTH, TX. (April 22, 2019) – Indian Motorcycle Racing, presented by Progressive Motorcycle Insurance, continued its torrid start to the season, as the FTR750 secured its second podium sweep of the season at the Texas Half-Mile. Back-to-back reigning Grand National Champion Jared Mees collected his first win of the 2019 season, while Wrecking Crew teammate Briar Bauman finished second, and Indian Motorcycle Privateer Brandon Robinson (Kennedy Racing/Armbruster Racing Indian FTR750) rounded out the podium with a third-place finish.

Mees and Bauman separated themselves from the field almost immediately at the start of the race. The two teammates spent the majority of the race jockeying for position atop the leaderboard. After a series of lead changes throughout the early stages, Mees managed to create some separation from Bauman in lap 22 and did not relinquish his lead again. With his first victory of the season, Mees was able to move himself up to third on the championship leaderboard.

“We are thrilled to see Jared get his first win of the season and make up some ground to stay near the top of the leaderboard,” said Gary Gray, Vice President – Racing, Technology & Service for Indian Motorcycle. “If this race was any indication, this is going to be an exciting season to watch Jared and Briar push each other to new heights the rest of the year.”

Mees’ victory snaps a seven-race winless streak and moves him into second on the all-time win list for Half-Miles. For Bauman, the second-place finish continues a strong start to the season that has seen him reach the podium in all three races, including a victory at the Daytona TT. His impressive start has him atop the leaderboard with 62 points followed by Robinson and Mees with 53 and 47 points respectively. Fellow Wrecking Crew Rider Bronson Bauman currently finds himself in eleventh with 24 total points.

The season continues on April 27 with Arizona Super TT in Chandler, Arizona. For more information on Indian Motorcycle Racing, visit IndianMotorcycle.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information Indian Motorcycle Racing’s sponsors, visit their websites: Progressive Motorcycle Insurance, S&S Cycle, Indian Motorcycle Oil, Parts Unlimited, Drag Specialties, Alpinestars, Bell Helmets and J&P Cycles.

 

Pirelli Presents the New ANGEL™ GT II Sport Touring Tire

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Pirelli Presents the ANGEL™ GT II, the New Tire That Rewrites the Rules of the Sport Touring Segment in Terms of Mileage, Wet Performance and Sportiness Combine with Safety

The Carcass with Innovative Variable Cord End Count and High Silica Compounds Combined with a New Tread Pattern Design – Derived from ‘Intermediate’ Race Tires – Set the Benchmark for Performance and Optimizes the Effect of the Electronic Ride Aids

MILAN, Italy (April 8, 2019) –ANGEL™ GT II is the new Pirelli Sport Touring tire, the successor of the highly regarded, award winning ANGEL™ GT and the evolution of the Italian brand’s interpretation of the Gran Turismo concept.

Pirelli has designed ANGEL™ GT II with the aim of rewriting the rules of the Sport Touring segment thanks to key features including high mileage, sporty handling and grip combined with fantastic wet conditions behavior and great confidence and safety to the rider. The carcass with innovative variable cord end count over tire section and high-silica compounds combined with a new tread pattern design – derived from World Superbike ‘intermediate’ race tires – set the benchmark for performance and optimizes the effect of electronic rider aids.

The Gran Turismo designation generally refers to travelling at speed over a long distance, with safety and comfort. Most importantly GT signifies making the ride able to offer emotions and fun, in other words, giving great riding pleasure.

ANGEL™ GT II development has been focused on consolidating the former ANGEL™ GT’s strengths – already a benchmark for mileage and versatility with different bikes and conditions – enhancing wet performance, riding pleasure and confidence in order to define a new reference point for the Sport Touring tire segment, in-line with Pirelli DNA and the Gran Turismo concept.

The reason why Pirelli has decided to develop a new product in this tire segment generates from its relevant and growing market volume and from the competitive scenario where products need to keep pace with the evolving need of motorcyclists’ and motorcycles.

The technical development of ANGEL™ GT II in terms of profiles, structures, compounds and tread pattern targeted the following main objectives:

• To ensure maximum adherence in all road conditions, linear behavior in lean transition and consistently support line-holding;

• To couple the sportiness of Pirelli DNA to exceptional performance also in full wet conditions;

• To further raise the bar for tire lifespan in the segment where its predecessor was already a reference;

• To maximize the effect of electronic rider aids.

The new ANGEL™ GT II has been developed to meet the needs of three different motorcyclist groups:

Grand tourers
These riders extensively travel on medium-to-long distances both alone or with a passenger and luggage. They ride sport tourers, adventure bikes and the new generation of crossover machines. They demand extended mileage, great stability when heavily loaded, enhanced comfort from dampening, and great safety and confidence, even in the wet.

Smart urbans
These riders use their machines all year long to commute and for urban mobility, with occasional short or medium length free-time trips. They ride super-sport, naked/roadster bikes, sport tourers and the new generation of crossovers. They demand control and braking grip in all conditions including wet and need light handling at low speed. Sometimes they engage in a more dynamic and exciting ride.

Free timers
These riders use their bikes mainly for short weekend trips. They ride mainly super-sport, adventure bikes and the new generation of crossovers. They demand sporty handling, plenty of grip but with extended mileage, performance in the wet and versatility to loading conditions.

With ANGEL™ GT II, Pirelli aims to confirm and expand the brand’s recognition in the Sport Touring tire segment by complementing the consolidated values of the brand – such as sportiness and sporty handling – with those of performance consistency, reliability and versatility.

ANGEL™ GT II is available in 17 and 19-inch front and 17-inch rear sizes as below:

(A) Heavy Weight Motorcycles version

Royal Enfield enters South Korea

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The iconic British motorcycle manufacturer arrives in Korea with its first flagship store, commencing its full operation, including after sales, spares and service.

Cult motorcycle maker, Royal Enfield on Friday has announced its entry into South Korea, with Vintage Motors (Kiheung International) as its official distributor-partner in the country.

The iconic British motorcycle manufacturer arrives in Korea with its first flagship store, commencing its full operation, including after sales, spares and service, the company said in a statement.

Vimal Sumbly, APAC Business Head, said, “Our focus is to sustain and expand our reach in International markets especially in Asia pacific region. Royal Enfield has seen consistent growth in the APAC region with a 20% year-on-year growth. Korea is an important chapter in the growth story and we are thrilled to commence business here. We fully committed to focus all our energies on becoming part of the fabric of this country’s rich motorcycling culture.”

This strategic announcement is in line with Royal Enfield’s focused international thrust of leading and expanding the global mid-sized motorcycle segment (250-750cc).

Pablo Lee Jr, CEO, Kiheung Motors said, “Royal Enfield motorcycles will offer Korean two wheeler riders an opportunity to upgrade to a robust long-distance, leisure riding culture with its modern-classics machines, that are brilliant for long rides on the highway at the same time perfect to commute in heavy traffic in the city”.

Royal Enfield enters South Korea, with line-up of three of its widely popular models featuring single-cylinder engines currently up to 500 cc: Bullet (500cc), Classic (500c), and Himalayan (410cc).

H-D Teams with Local Trade Schools for Battle of the Kings

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Harley-Davidson Teams with Local Trade Schools for ‘Battle of the Kings’ Bike Build Competition

MILWAUKEE (April 15, 2019) – For the first time, local trade school students partnered with Harley-Davidson® dealers for a unique, real-world training opportunity: helping build the coolest custom motorcycles in the world in the “Battle of the Kings” competition. 

Now, Harley-Davidson is calling on the public to help select the winner by voting for their favorites from April 15 to May 15 at H-D.com/BattleOfTheKings.

The “Battle of the Kings” competition highlights the endless possibilities to personalize Harley-Davidson motorcycles. It’s the largest dealer custom build bike competition in the world, showcasing Harley-Davidson’s leadership in customization. Since 2015, Battle of the Kings has created more than 500 custom bikes.

This year, U.S. trade school students were invited to join their local Harley-Davidson dealership for the builds, with the goal of inspiring the next generation of skilled tradespeople to join the world of motorcycling. Under the guidance of experienced Harley-Davidson mechanics, students from across the country were introduced to the creativity, customization prowess and technical precision of motorcycle customization.

“Harley-Davidson’s goal is to build the next generation of riders, and those new riders will need service technicians and customization experts to help them along the way,” said Heather Malenshek, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Brand. “Introducing trade school students to the unlimited possibilities of custom bike building will unlock their creativity and inspire them to think outside the box as they embark on their careers.”

Vote Now to Help Pick Winner

The public can vote from a selection of more than 40 rolling works of art featuring the latest in design, fit and finish created in partnership with the students of future automotive mechanics, designers and welders of America. Starting today, the first round of voting, called People’s Choice, is open at H-D.com/BattleOfTheKings.

See the builds from dealerships around the world by following #BattleOfTheKings on social media. For more information on the rules of the competition and to vote on the bikes, visit H-D.com/BattleOfTheKings.

Imagine Bikernet Weekly News for April 11, 2019

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It’s All Based Around Creative Freedom and the Chopper Gods.

Imagine if the concept of life changed dramatically. With the advent of scienctific discoveries and studies, everything is changing rapidly regarding religion, philosophy and nature.

It always blows me away, the more I learn the more motorcycling, custom motorcycling and choppers become pure bastions of freedom. According to science we are born, go through the process of growing, living, loving and dying. Simple as that. We are no more than a blossoming flower in your garden. Life comes and then it goes.

Ah, but there’s so much more to our lives and what we make of them. Every day we can conjure up our next ride, our next chopper, our next girlfriend (or boyfriend), or our next adventure. Fortunately, we’re around for many seasons, so our opportunities for creative and adventuresome expansion are many fold.

So, take advantage of every fucking season you have, ‘cause when you’re gone, you’re gone. Let’s hit the news and ponder the meaning of life. Maybe it’s the pursuit of love and creative freedom and Choppers are creative steel gods we are allowed to ride off into the sunset.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEWS – in The Cantina.

Cantina Subscription at just $24 per year.

New Confederate Motorcycle Website Has Launched

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After the rebranding from Confederate Motors Inc. to Curtiss Motorcycle Company, Inc., in June of 2018 Curtiss sold the intellectual property rights to the Confederate brands and designs to Ernest Lee. Ernest Lee immediately announced plans to continue to sell the Confederate P-51 Combat Fighter and FA-13 Combat Bomber through his new company Confederate Motorcycles LLC. Ernest Lee also owns and has ridden his Confederate P-51 Combat Fighter #31 more than 25,000 miles himself.

The new Confederate.com website now features new and pre-owned Confederate motorcycles, service, parts, apparel and gear.

NEW MOTORCYCLES
Confederate currently manufactures and distributes the G3 P-51 Combat Fighter and FA-13 Combat Bomber. Each of these motorcycles is an heirloom work of functioning art that lives and breathes the Confederate ideology.

P-51 COMBAT FIGHTER
The P-51 Combat Fighter is available with the S&S X-Wedge 132 cubic inch engine; a choice of two different handlebars; rear, mid or forward foot positions; single stack or dual stack air filters; several anodized colour options; and either a solo or a plus one seat configuration.

FA-13 COMBAT BOMBER
The FA-13 Combat Bomber is available with the S&S X-Wedge 132 cubic inch engine; a choice of two different handlebars; mid or forward foot positions; and dual stack air filters.

The 2019 FXDR™ Hellcat™ F-114
This “power cruiser” combines the power of the Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine with an ultra-lightweight chassis, wheels and body for ultimate performance. Reimagined with Confederate DNA, Carbon Fiber and Billet Aluminum Construction, the Confederate FXDR kit will soon be available in a variety of options.

TRADE-IN PROGRAM
When it’s time to upgrade, Confederate owners get what they paid for their Confederate motorcycle toward a new Confederate motorcycle of equal or greater value.

PRE-OWNED MOTORCYCLES
Confederate’s refurbishment program is available not only for bikes that the motorcycle company purchase, trade and consign, but also for any Confederate owner wishing to update or redefine their own Confederate heirloom beauty.

SERVICE NETWORK
Confederate offers pickup and delivery service in the USA and have relationships with service vendors across the US and abroad to continue to offer the level of service that Confederate clients have come to expect.

CONFEDERATE APPAREL & GEAR
Gear that reflects Confederate’s aesthetic will soon be available on the Confederate.com website. Contact Confederate at 844-448-7132.

Presented by Confederate Motorcycles

https://www.confederate.com/
Never compromise passion, intensity, time or money. Specify only the finest materials, components and methodologies. Create an American Way Industrial and Mechanical Design culture. Perfect a balance of technology and the primitive. Celebrate American Hand-craftsmanship. Promote heirloom quality. De-emphasize volume.

Adventure Rally and Camp Returns to Stagecoach Trails Resort

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Adventure Rally and Camp Returns to Stagecoach Trails Resort, November 7-10

Early Bird Registration runs through May 31

April 9, 2019, Irvine, CA — The Motorcycle Adventure Rally & Camp returns to Southern California for the second straight year at Stagecoach Trails Resort in Julian, Calif., November 7-10. The format continues to expand and evolve from past Adventure Rally Sierra and Rockies Editions, creating even more opportunities to discover diverse riding, in a location just waiting to be discovered on adventure motorcycles.

Early bird registration is currently underway through May 31, with participants able to save money. To register online, visit www.advrally.com.

The Adventure Rally features over 100+ points of interest to find in an over 200-mile radius from base camp, spread across a vast terrain of mountains, valleys, deserts, and more! A variety of new exciting points of interest will be part of the event this year.

Participants can ride one, two, or all three days of the event. Top point collectors will be honored each day as well as the team that collects the most points overall for all three days.

A variety of camping options will be offered again this year. >From tents to RVs to on-site cabins, all are available at the Stagecoach Trails Base Camp (stagecoachtrails.com). For those not wanting to camp, just 12 miles up the road in Julian, Calif., plenty of lodging choices are available.

Expanded food offerings are in place—including a 4-day food option with a unique menu offered each of the four days. Also, food can be purchased from Daddy’s Famous Food Truck. The option for participants to bring their own food is also available again this year. In addition, an increased vendor area will be on-site.

These combinations lead to more riding and overnight choices and opportunities, more exciting happenings at base camp, and additional adventure.

Riders of all skill levels are welcome. All off-road-capable, street-legal motorcycles are welcome.

For more information on the Motorcycle Adventure Rally & Camp and to register, visit www.advrally.com.

The Adventure Rally is made possible by GEICO Motorcycle and Statecoach Trails.

About Adventure Rally
The Adventure Rally is a multi-day challenge for any skill-level rider and their machine. By day, self-navigated scenic trails are completed in search of elusive checkpoints. At night, competitors spend time together, along with staff from Cycle World, Motorcyclist, and Dirt Rider and other industry guests. Each team will participate on the trails as well as in special tests. The special tests are conducted at the Stagecoach Trails Base Camp and are designed to improve the adventure skills of participants.

Weekend Round-Up for April 8, 2019

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Death, Breakdowns, Salt Efforts and old Indians
By Bandit and Micah McCloskey

I don’t know where to start. Last week we Micah and I peeled into Long Beach in my ’72 Ford F250, which was recently checked out by my mechanic, Mr. Patino.

Ever since I stumbled into this cool truck, I’ve made improvements, but I still wanted to have a professional take a look. I solved lots of issues, but I wanted fresh eyes to look it over.

READ THE WEEKEND ROUNDUP AT THE CANTINA – Click Here